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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp at a vaccination site in Hapeville in February 2021. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) issued an executive order on Thursday that allows businesses to not comply with local mask or COVID-19 vaccine mandates meant to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Kemp is the latest Republican governor to hamper local responses to the virus despite a surge of new cases from the Delta variant.

By the numbers: Georgia on Thursday reported more than 7,000 new coronavirus cases and 46 deaths from the virus, following almost 5,000 cases and 42 deaths on Wednesday, according to state data.

What they're saying: "The executive order I signed today will make sure businesses across our state can’t be punished by local governments for trying to make a living, pay their employees, and save their livelihoods. Georgia is open for business!" Kemp tweeted.

  • "Local businesses will not force businesses to be the city's mask police," he said in a press conference after signing the order.

The big picture: Several school districts in Georgia have already suspended in-person learning just weeks into the new school year because of new cases among students and faculty.

Go deeper: Small businesses sue NYC over indoor vaccine mandate

Go deeper

Oct 20, 2021 - Health

White House unveils plan to "quickly" vaccinate kids ages 5–11

Charles Muro, 13, is inoculated at Hartford Healthcare's mass vaccination center at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Conn. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

The White House on Wednesday released its plan to vaccinate children between the ages of 5 and 11, pending authorization from the FDA of the first COVID-19 shot for that age group.

The big picture: The White House said it has secured enough vaccine supply to equip more than 25,000 pediatric and primary care offices, hundreds of school and community health clinics, and tens of thousands of pharmacies to administer the shots.

Oct 22, 2021 - Health

CDC director: U.S. may change definition of "fully vaccinated" as boosters roll out

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Friday the U.S. "may need to update" its definition for what it means to have full vaccination against COVID.

The big picture: The CDC and the FDA have officially approved boosters with every authorized vaccine in the U.S. for people who meet specific requirements. Walensky explained that since not everyone is eligible for a booster, the definition has not been changed "yet."

Oct 21, 2021 - Axios Denver

Colorado COVID cases pose continued concern

Expand chart
Data: N.Y. Times; Cartogram: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state continue to climb, with case counts here outpacing all but two states nationwide.

By the numbers: Colorado stands out as one of only 10 states that saw infections increase during the past two weeks, a New York Times analysis shows.

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